By December 30, 2013

The Essential Tool Kit Guide For Christmas

Holiday Lights

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and for most of us that means it’s time to dig out our decorations, tree and lights, hang up the stockings, and put the advent calendar on display. Getting ready for the holiday season, and decorating and parties that come with it, is not easy. If you dread the thought of trying to get your lights to stay up or your real wood tree to sit correctly in the pot, read on for some simple tips for preparing for the holidays.

Putting Up Your Tree 

If you are working with a real, freshly cut Christmas tree, you should make sure that the tree remains well hydrated while it is in your home. If the tree was cut more than four hours before you erect it in your living room, use a saw to cut one inch of wood off the bottom before putting the tree up.

You should store your tree in a stand that is big enough to hold enough water to satisfy the tree for 24 hours. Freshly cut trees use about a quart of water per inch of trunk diameter per day. Keep the clump of the tree in a strong, galvanized tub, and use a secondary tub to protect the floor from damage caused by excess water and dirt.

Large trees may need stabilizing with a tree stand in addition to their bucket. If the dirt and water in the bucket is not enough to hold the tree in place, consider making a tree stand out of spare wood and eye bolts. Cut four pieces of wood to make the frame (the bigger the tree, the longer the frame should be), and four shorter pieces to make the risers. Use eye bolts to hold the frame together.

Repairing Christmas Lights

It’s almost inevitable that at least one of the bulbs in your strip of Christmas lights will fail while the lights are in storage. The good news is that it is quite easy to find and replace the broken bulb. Typically, if even one bulb is broken, the entire strip will not light up. To find the broken bulb you will need to use a multi-meter. Unscrew each bulb and test it using the voltage tester setting on the multi-meter. If the voltage tester chirps when you test the bulb, it is working. If the tester is silent, that bulb is blown and must be replaced.

If, after testing all the bulbs, the strip of lights still does not come on, the problem may be with the fuse. Replace the fuse in the plug and try the lights again. 

Hanging Your Lights

Take care when hanging lights around your tree. Older incandescent lights can get quite hot and may cause a fire hazard. Consider purchasing LED lights instead. In addition, you must be careful not to damage the wiring of the lights when hanging them on your wall. Do not be tempted to staple or use drawing pins to keep your lights in place. Instead, consider drilling small holes for ornament hooks into the wall and using the hooks to put the lights and other directions in place. Discrete plastic hooks can be used to hang other decorations for other seasonal holiday celebrations.

Making and Hanging Stockings

Hanging Stockings

Personalized stockings are easy to make, even if you aren’t talented at needlework. You can find many free stocking patterns online. Simply cut the pattern out of felt, sew it together, and add a strong threaded loop at the top. Make sure that the loop is securely attached to the stocking itself, and that it can handle the weight of any gifts that you plan to put in there.

If you want to hang your stockings on the fireplace, use decorative hooks rather than drawing pins. Non-marking self-adhesive hooks are available from most DIY stores. These hooks are strong enough to support the weight of your stockings, but are easy enough to remove once the holiday season is over, leaving no marks on your wall or fireplace surround.

Making a Card Holder

Christmas Card Holder

If you get a lot of Christmas cards, then you may struggle to find places to put them. Instead of cluttering your windowsill and fireplace with cards, why not make a festive card hanger?

Take a couple of old wire coat hangers and unfold them, then use pliers to re-shape the hangers into triangles of differing sizes. Tape these triangles together to make a Christmas tree-like shape (With the smallest triangle at the top). At evenly spaced intervals, securely wrap and tape pipe cleaner around the hanger, leaving enough jutting out to hold each Christmas Card in place. Secure the card holder to the wall with two strong hooks.

Your Tool Shopping List

  • Multi-meter
  • Spare fuses
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tape measure
  • T-Square
  • Drill
  • Scissors
  • A sturdy bucket or galvanized tub
  • Pliers

Enthusiastic DIY fanatic Justine Writes for– leading suppliers of high quality tools and machinery.

Posted in: Home Improvement

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